Like most teachers, I have to PLAN my escapes to the bathroom. (A-Days: 7:30, 9:15, 10:55, and 3:00 PM. B-Days: 7:30, 10: 50, 12:10, and 3:00 PM. If I'm lucky, that is. Some days, it's not even this often.) This morning, I was making my cross-campus run for the faculty restroom when an unfamiliar substitute suddenly stepped from the doorway of a SPED classroom (where he was playing a harmonica. *!*) and directly into my path.
Me: Uh, hi.
Him: We have a problem here. *gestures to crowded hallway* I heard some girls down there screaming, "You're ugly!" to another girl. And there's some horseplay going on up that way.
Me: *mouth twitches* *nostrils flare slightly in attempt to keep from laughing* Yes. And....?
Me: Sir, what you want to watch for is when a big group of kids swarms together.
Him: *eyes widening in expectation* Really?
Me: Yeah, that means there's a fight. But don't worry; two administrators are standing at the head of the hallway, and we have security cameras all over the place.
A few minutes later, I repeated the exchange to the vice-principal, the assistant custodian, and a veteran substitute who used to teach full-time in our school.
Me: So then he told me there were kids involved in "horseplay!"
*laughter from all*
Custodian: Was there blood? Broken glass? Otherwise, I'm not worried.
Me: And did the girl who got called "ugly" sass back or melt into a puddle of tears? Can't he tell the difference?
Veteran Sub: Has he ever been in a junior high before?
Vice Principal: Great. *rolls eyes* I'll get stuck helping him before the day's over.
Obviously, this guy's been reading way too many mommy blogs and ksl.com articles about how we shouldn't let kids play rough or "bully" one another.
I'm guessing today was a reality check for him.
Welcome to the wild world of junior high, mister. I hope you and your harmonica had a lovely time.